Wu Qi walked along the street in An He City, with his head hanging down, pondering about the great calamity that Yu He had told him about.
The root cause of this possible calamity could be traced back to what had happened in the Dark Abyss. Together with many of his civil and military officers from Zhong Province, Feng Lingling had discovered that King Bai Shan and Patriarch Miao Ying were in collusion. As a result, both of them had given out an order to exterminate them. After going through a bloody battle, apart from Reverend Li Yang who managed to escape with a mystic technique after Fairy Xuan Die had risked her life to save him, Feng Lingling and a few important ministers of Zhong Province, including Yu Miao, who Wu Qi had a grudge against, also managed to escape from the Dark Abyss.
After all, as the Prefecture Overseer of Zhong Province, a first-grade province, Feng Lingling did own many excellent life-saving treasures. As for Yu Mu, since he was able to take up the post of the Master Oracle of Zhong Province's Directorate of Celestials, the life-saving methods he had mastered were no fewer than Feng Lingling. Nobody knew what had happened during the battle, save for those who fought through it. Nevertheless, it was a fact that Feng Lingling, Yu Mu, and a few of their peers had successfully escaped from the Dark Abyss, and safely returned to Zhong Province. No tiding could be more terrible than this.
When Feng Lingling returned to Zhong Province, he immediately dispatched the most urgent warning message to the capital city of Great Yu. King Bai Shan was in collusion with Heaven Immortals of outer heavenly realm, and they were hatching a sinister plot; they had also assaulted Great Yu's important ministers, which clearly illustrated their intention to rise in rebellion, a crime too wicked to be pardoned.
Not long after the warning message was dispatched, an imperial edict was sent straight into the hand of the current Human Emperor of Great Yu from the Heaven: Why had the Prefecture Overseer of Zhong Province, Feng Lingling, attacked Nine Yin Celestial Lady Lord's palace with an army? The Great Emperors of the Heaven requested an explanation from the Human Emperor!
When the Heaven's imperial edict was sent into Great Yu's imperial court, many important ministers in the court were having a headache because of it, King Bai Shan had struck in a carefree manner. He told the Human Emperor that his son, King Zhang Qiu, had developed lust after women, and when he was fishing and hunting for one who could warm his bed, he unintentionally found Patriarch Miao Ying's disciple, Goddess Miao Xin. It was indeed a treacherous behavior that went against the Human Emperor's interdiction, but King Bai Shan had severely punished him, and had planned to keep him in captivity for ten years, so as to serve a warning to the others.
But at the same time, and in a great rage, King Bai Shan complained to the Human Emperor, "Feng Lingling has falsely accused me of colluding with Heaven Immortals of the outer heavenly realm! Who doesn't know that I, King Bai Shan, am loyal only to the Great Yu Imperial Clan? How is it even possible that I will commit such a crime? His accusation comes with concealed intentions! He has brought up a false accusation against a member of Great Yu Imperial Clan. Such a tendency is not to be encouraged. In order to preserve the Great Yu Imperial Clan's dignity and face, we must punish him with the execution of all the members of his clan!"
King Bai Shan furiously pointed out that Feng Lingling had provoked the Celestial Lady Lord of the Heaven for no apparent reason. And when he realized that he had picked the wrong target, in order to escape from the responsibility, he had shifted the blame on King Bai Shan. He also mentioned that should this matter not be handled in a serious manner, and if Feng Lingling was not brutally punished, he would personally make Feng Lingling pay the price, even if that would cost him his life.
Both parties claimed to be in the right, but who was actually telling the truth? Especially when the matter involved a Celestial Lady Lord of the Heaven, if it were not handled properly, would the Heaven seize upon it and make a fuss?
Yu He told Wu Qi that the case was being fiercely debated in Great Yu Imperial Court for months, yet no final decision had been made.
Yu Clan had a very strong backing in Great Yu's Directorate of Celestials. Thus, they did not worry about the final conclusion of this matter at all. Whether Feng Lingling was able to continue holding the power in Zhong Province or it was given to some other lucky fellow, none of that would shake Yu Clan's status, and the people of Yu Clan would not be punished. Nevertheless, judging from the talk that was going on in the Imperial Court, it seemed that Feng Lingling was soon going to be out of luck!
Once Feng Lingling was pulled down from his high seat, the Feng Clan would face a thorough cleansing from top to bottom, and the clans of all the officers who served in the three hundred provinces under Zhong Province would be washed with blood, so that the people from the new Prefecture Overseer's own personal clique could take over the control. An incident like this had happened more than once in the history of Great Yu. The official clans of Great Yu had long had a profound understanding of such a cruel purge.
Should that really happen, no doubt Feng Clan would be completely wiped out. Zhu Linggong, who had recently been appointed as the County Governor and City Lord, was bound to be thrown to the ground once again as well. Yu He hinted to Wu Qi that only by becoming his ally would he be able to protect himself. In return, he needed Wu Qi to support him with the army in his hand. And with that, both of them would be able to support each other and march to greater heights!
After all, as one of the sons of Yu Clan, Yu He also had the wild ambition to climb higher. Only by obtaining a higher position would he then be given more advanced mystic techniques, talismans, and a supply of better resources, as well as a more powerful beast soul that he could merge with.
The reason why he had selected Wu Qi as the target to form an alliance was Wu Qi's background. A man who came from the wilderness could never have any relationship with the official clans in Zhong Province. On top of that, Wu Qi had shown an excellent latent talent, and his charisma was extraordinary. A man like him was destined to have a great development in the Military Court. Yu He was a clever man. Therefore, he had come to Wu Qi and offered a request to form an alliance.
'In any case, there is no loss. So, why should I turn him down?' Wu Qi thought with a smile on his face. When he was in the Directorate of Celestials just now, he had promised that as long as Yu He could keep him safe from the storm that might break out in the near future, he would do his very best to assist the latter to gain a higher status and greater benefits. In the same way, Yu He would muster all his power to pave a golden path to the greater heights for Wu Qi.
It was nothing more than an exchange of interests, and Yu He was very experienced in such a trade. However, he could never dream that Wu Qi was at least one hundred times more seasoned than him in carrying out a business like this.
Wu Qi let out a few cold laughs. Suddenly, he spun and walked out of An He City, then strode towards a vast expanse of mountains off in the far distance.
Even as he was running across the wilderness, his divine will quickly spread out in all directions to cautiously observe any unusual activities around him. Six celestial fiend puppets had parted from him to take the rear, preventing anyone from going into the same direction.
The ground under his feet trembled slightly, and his divine will captured the rippling wave of an underground energy vein. In the blink of an eye, the purple energy inside him fused with the wave, and his body flashed and vanished. In the next moment, he emerged in the depths of the mountains through the energy vein. No sound or ripple of energy was produced when he was traversing the void, as he was using the divine ability uniquely practiced by the human experts, the Kuafu Chasing The Sun Step.
After walking a few rounds in the mountains, Wu Qi suddenly plunged headlong into a cliff wall. The wall rippled like water when he went through it, and what emerged before him on the other side was a valley concealed within a formation and under a dense layer of green pines and wisterias, which made it almost impossible to be discovered from the sky.
It was a valley that twisted and turned for nearly one hundred miles, with its widest part measuring slightly greater than one mile. There was a stream bubbling through the land, and on the other end of the valley came pouring down a waterfall with nine turns, while two energy veins converged under the ground. With clean water and copious amount of natural energy, the valley was fully covered with exotic flowers and rare herbs. Upon entering the valley, Wu Qi smelled the refreshing fragrance of vegetation. It was indeed an excellent place for someone to live in seclusion and meditate in peace.
Even as Wu Qi began to walk into the valley, a figure suddenly charged up at him from a corner. A flaming mirror shot up into the sky, from the face of which came pouring down a stream of flame. The blue flame emanated a strange heat that could penetrate straight into one's internal organs, which came with a force that seemed capable of stirring one's blood essence, igniting them and burning one into ashes.
It was the 'Three Extinguish Skyfire,' a wicked flame used especially to suppress Immortal cultivators. It had the ability to burn off an Immortal cultivator's energy, spirit, and soul!
Wu Qi smiled as he raised his hand to spray out a stream of cold breeze, which quickly transformed into many large ice shields and blocked off the attack of the flame. Then, his facial muscles began to twist and turn, and before long, he looked exactly as the appearance of the Daoist Greed, which he had used as a disguise. His voice had changed as well, now sounding deep and hoarse, "Supremacy Three Flame, we have not seen each other for a few years, and this is how you greet me? A deadly attack?"
The figure who was clad in a red Daoist robe and making a threatening gesture was none other than Supremacy Three Flame. He was in the middle of harvesting a peculiar crop named 'Blood Grain' somewhere near the entrance, which he planned to use as the raw material for the brewing some fine wine. It was then that he saw a stranger abruptly intruding the valley, and he immediately launched a deadly attack. However, when he noticed that the stranger had changed his appearance and became the Daoist Greed who he had known previously, he quickly retracted the flame and rushed over to embrace Wu Qi.
"Haha, my brother! Damn it! We have not seen each other for years! Now tell me, what deceitful trick are you guys playing?" Supremacy Three Flame roared with laughter as he braced Wu Qi, then gave him a few heavy punches in the chest.
Supremacy Three Flame was indeed thrown into confusion by Wu Qi. Everything was fine back then. They had claimed the authority of Euphoria Heavenly Palace in An He City, and had already controlled the entire An Le County, a promising base for their future! But, he had not lived the life of an Emperor for even two years that Feng Lingling arrived with a mighty army, and a fierce battle erupted between the army of Zhong Province and the Immortals of Green City. Then, in a rather baffling situation, the Euphoria Heavenly Palace collapsed, and the Great Yu official forces regained control of An Le County.
After that, Wu Qi's celestial fiend puppets brought Supremacy Three Flame and the others to hide in this valley. Supremacy Three Flame was a man who enjoyed being around people, but he had not seen any other people for months, save those who came with him. He was almost bored to death in this quiet valley. But, the puppets told him that Wu Qi would soon return. Therefore, he had been trying his best to restrain his temper and stay in this place.
Wu Qi was touched when he saw how elated Supremacy Three Flame had become when they met. He was a man worthy to be his best friend!
Wu Qi gladly held Supremacy Three Flame's hand as he began to tell him what he had gone through over the last two years, but excluded some deeds he had done in Miao Ying Palace. He also told him that the purpose of his visit this time was to develop his own power in An Le County! He had already found a reliable ally here, thus they did not have to worry about any hindrance from Great Yu official power.
With An Le County as the foundation, Wu Qi planned to establish a colossal power!
Supremacy Three Flame was dancing with joy when he heard that. As he was about to ask Wu Qi for further details about the plan, You Jin hurried out from inside of the valley with Bajie at his heels. Upon seeing Wu Qi, You Jin immediately dropped to his knees, hardly able to hold back his excitement, "Senior, you have finally returned!"
Obediently, Bajie dropped to his knees as well, offering Wu Qi a kowtow in utmost respect, "Greetings, Master! It has been a few years since we last met, and I can tell Master has attained a stronger cultivation base!"
Wu Qi gave Bajie a feint kick. "How do you know I have attained a stronger cultivation base? Pure flattery!"
While You Jin and Bajie were offering Wu Qi greeting, Xue Mei, who had grown up into a young lady, came rushing over on a sword beam. She cried out happily at the sight of Wu Qi.
After that, a group of boys and girls came rushing out of the valley. They were the children who had been carefully selected by Euphoria Heavenly Palace to join Green City during the inaugural ceremony, all of whom possessed excellent latent talents. The celestial fiend puppets had brought them here as well.
Seeing that more and more people had gathered around him, Wu Qi could not help but stamp his feet. 'Oh well, let's take this opportunity and make things happen!'
As he stared at the crowd, he said in a deep voice, "Everybody, truth be told, I have the intention to establish the Underhand Sect here! There is no better time than now, so let's get it done today!"